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Top 5 PS1 Console Games

With the PS5 being released in the next couple of days I thought it would be a good time to collate my top 5 games for each of Sony’s home consoles. So today we start at the beginning with the trusty old Playstation.

The PS1 changed the landscape when it was released and became the first ever console to ship over 100 million units in its 10 year life span and these games no doubt helped it to be the success it was;

5) Tony Hawks Pro Skater

Released in 1999 this game was my first taste of skateboarding in a game since California Games back on the NES! Neversoft went out of their way to produce a game that captured the feel of the skateboarding culture. From the soundtrack, locations and the real life skaters within the game they achieved what they set out to do. It was the control system that made this game so much fun. The game allowed you to do the basics easily so that achieving the harder tricks wasn’t near on impossible and once you picked it up you couldn’t put it down.

4) Resident Evil 2

Resident Evil 2 came out in 1998, 2 years after the original. Like all good sequels this takes the good from the first game and improves on it. Taking the setting of the game out of a house and putting it in a city gives the game a bigger feel and the idea that the whole city is full of zombies makes it a very lonely and scary experience. The first time I met a licker I shit my pants and it will stay with me and my poo stained underwear forever!

The game really was bigger as there were 4 different scenarios that you could play. This was achieved by having 2 lead characters to play as and when you played through as one character you would then have to play through as the other to see what happened to them whilst you were playing as the other character. You could then switch the order and see two more different versions of the game. It was this new depth which made it one of the series best if not the actual best.

3) Final Fantasy VII

This game was originally being developed for the SNES back in 1994. There were many delays and technical issues, Square decided they needed the huge space a CD Rom provided to really produce the game they wanted, which meant ditching Nintendo and jumping to Playstation.

The story followed ex soldier Cloud as he joins an eco terrorist group in the fight against the mega corporation Shinra, who are slowly killing the planet. Along the way you encounter many different characters, most of whom will join the cause and fight beside you. One of the big draws for me with this game was you ability to re name these characters as I would put me and all my friends in this epic story. In turn this made me really care for these guys, so when it came to the death of Arieth it crushed me even more. To kill of a main character halfway through the game was such a shock! As far as I knew it had never been done before. Yes the princess was in another castle but she was always alive. All of this made sure it was a story that stayed with me long after the game was completed.

2) Smackdown

Now this could be a divisive choice as it wont be everyone’s cup of tea (speaking of tea and wrestling check out the latest episode of Tea and Tights the premiere BritWres podcast!) but it sure as hell is mine and this is my list. This game got me back into watching wrestling after I turned my back on it when I discovered it wasn't real.

THQ went down the route of this being a simulation game rather than an arcade game. This is highlighted by simplistic control system they put in place which allowed you to pull off the move you wanted to pull off by pressing just one button rather than a convoluted string of them. Putting on exciting matches that looked so good had never been easier.

One staple of the Smackdown games, that is still present now in its 2k iteration, is the create a wrestler. There seemed to be no limit to the customisation options in this game. Because of this me and my friends could make so many wrestlers which we would store on memory cards and take them to each others houses to fight. Nothing beats some good old fashioned multiplayer games.

1) Metal Gear Solid

The previous 4 on this list could be interchangeable depending on my mood but this one is with out a doubt my number one Playstation 1 game and maybe my number one of all time!

This game turned things on its head, going in all guns blazing no longer an option. It was all about the stealth. Hiding was your best course of action and I can’t explain how tense it got hiding in cardboard boxes.

The story was also at the forefront with a complex tale of espionage, walking battle tanks, nuclear weapons and clones. There was also a lot of backstory which you could find in the manual if you hadn’t played the previous games from the Nintendo days.

The story and the stealth wasn’t the only thing that was good. Hideo Kojima had you looking at the game from a completely different angle and made you think out of the box. Or to be more exact look at the outside of the box. I spent hours trying to find the frequency to contact Meryl. All I had to apparently was look on the CD box. Well I went through my inventory looking for said CD box, scoured every area I had already been to checking i hadn’t missed it somewhere but I had no luck. It was nowhere. I was on the verge of quitting and never playing again. The internet wasn’t a thing so I couldn’t just look up a guide online. I picked up the game box and went to put the disc back in and boom. On the back of the actual, physical, real world CD box was Meryl’s contact frequency. Well played Hideo well played. But that wasn’t all he did. He also made it only possible to beat the psychic bad guy, Psycho Mantis, if you plugged the controller in the other port to stop him reading your mind.

This game is truly one of the greats.

That’s it, that’s My Top 5 PS1 console games, keep an eye out for my top 5 PS2, PS3 and PS4 games in the coming weeks. What are your top 5 PS1 Console Games?

The Big Geek

Stephen Sowden

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